It may not be the easiest to get to but if you appreciate expertly poured high-quality coffee drinks, a little extra effort might be worth it. Aside from expert espressos and cultivated cappuccinos, try a heavenly hot chocolate and/or a perfect pastry.
A dark, laid back, indie, loungey space with a DIY aesthetic, located on that alley of a street across from Berbati's and the Shanghai Tunnel. The menu lies in the tapas/small plate realm, relying on fresh and local ingredients whenever possible, and they also serve sandwiches from The People's Sandwich of Portland. A plate of three entrées and some bread will cost you $8 (get the egg salad, it really is that good). Mega-hip art covers the walls and the upstairs smoking lounge area is like being in your parent's basement, but upstairs! Sometimes DJs spin, sometimes it's; live music, poetry, performance, movies, etc. (Show nights are Sunday through Tuesday)
Adorned with political/presidential memorabilia, the Bipartisan serves Stumptown coffee, Tao of Tea teas, has some tasty sandwiches, bagles and best of all -pie! Get a cuppa, grab a slice and talk donkeys vs. elephants.
Escape from New York is still the best joint in town for a greasy, floppy slice of New York-style pizza, dished up by Escape's affably surly staff. Toppings are minimal, you won't find artichoke hearts or pineapple here. A focus on quality ingredients and a mastery of the Holy Trinity of pizza (sauce, cheese, and crust) make Escape perhaps the best reason to brave NW 23rd.
Rest assured, you will not be sending any innocent animals into the sweet hereafter by eating at the Sweet Hereafter. The folks responsible for Alberta's popular vegan bar Bye and Bye bring you it's Southeast counterpart.